Cockroaches in Australia

There are over 400 species of cockroaches in Australia.

Only 6 species are of any concern to the home occupier.

They apparently had their origin in Africa and now occur all over the world.

They were introduced into Australia over 200 years ago.

  • Australian Cockroach

    (Periplaneta australasiae)
    Australian Cockroach

    Key Features

    • Dark body with pale yellow areas on the upper area of the thorax and on the fore margins of the front wings
    • They mostly live outside where there are plants, wood piles and under garden litter.
    • The are also found in roof voids
    • Slightly smaller than the American cockroach
    • Wings are fully developed in both species and extend slightly beyond the tip of the abdomen
    • The female is slightly stouter

    Food Preferences

    • Omnivorous - they can eat pretty much anything
    • Decaying animal and vegetable matter
    • They have a sweet tooth, so they love fruit, honey or anything sugary. They have been known to eat hair, leather shoes, animal hides, dead insects, nail clippings, book bindings and paper.

    Size

    • 30mm-35mm
  • American Cockroach

    (Periplaneta americana)
    American Cockroach

    Key Features

    • Pale yellow border around the upper area of the body
    • Capable of flying
    • From egg to adult takes 6 to 12 months
    • Live both inside and outside
    • Live in cavities of wall, roofs,subfloors, drains and sewerage.
    • Capable of carrying disease
    • They eat leaves, wood particles, fungi and algae
    • They also eat small insects
    • Indoors, American cockroaches forage under appliances, in drains, in kitchen cabinets and on the floor

    Food Preferences

    • They eat crumbs, scraps of food and spilled food that they find. They will also eat pet food that is left out overnight.

    Size

    • 35mm-40mm
  • Brownbanded Cockroach

    (Supella longipalpa)
    Brownbanded Cockroach

    Key Features

    • Males have full wings whilst females only have short winds
    • Identified by pale bands across both the thorax and abdomen
    • Egg cases contain up to 18 eggs
    • Adults live for about 6 months
    • Development period from 2 to 4 months

    Food Preferences

    • Starchy materials such as sizing and wallpaper paste

    Size

    • 10mm-14mm
  • German Cockroaches

    Blatella germanica (L.)
    German Cockroaches

    Key Features

    • Amber brown in colour with two longitudinal dark stripes on the thorax
    • They have fully developed wings, but they do not fly
    • Eggs are carried in an egg case, or ootheca, by the female until just before hatch occurs
    • The mature from egg stage in only 40 days

    Food Preferences

    • Carbohydrates
    • Proteins

    Size

    • Approximately 12mm - 15mm
  • Oriental Cockroach

    (Blatta orientalis)
    Oriental Cockroach

    Key Features

    • Uniform dark brown in colour
    • Adults live for 6-12 months
    • Females lay 20 egg cases each containing about 26 eggs
    • Found in roof voids
    • Enter houses from gardens and greenhouses where food forms much of their food
    • Not usually encountered in kitchens or other rooms in the house

    Food Preferences

    • Plant Materials

    Size

    • 30mm-35mm
  • Smokey Brown Cockroach

    (Periplaneta fuliginosa)
    Smokey Brown Cockroach

    Key Features

    • Excellent flier
    • Found on roofs and in gutters associated with bird droppings
    • Will feed on bird droppings but its natural food material is vegetable or plant matter
    • The development time from egg to adult, can vary from 160 days to 716 days
    • Although related to the American cockroaches, they are slightly smaller in size and uniformly mahogany in colour
    • Nymphs are the same color as adults and their antenna tips are white
    • Both sexes have wings that are longer than their abdomens
    • They are capable of flying, and they are attracted to light

    Food Preferences

    Size

    • 30mm-35mm